2018 Game Changers: Neil Paul, Visit Anderson (S.C.)

Neil Paul, Anderson, S.C.

Neil Paul is executive director of Visit Anderson/Anderson County CVB. As a 2018 Connect Sports Game Changer, he discusses his passion for sports tourism.

Connect with Paul on Twitter and the CVB here.

What I Do: In addition to the day-to-day operations of managing the CVB, I am responsible for marketing and promoting Anderson County and Lake Hartwell for the benefit of tourism and generating a positive economic impact on our community located in the Blue Ridge Mountains between Charlotte and Atlanta.

How I Got here: I arrived in Anderson as the sales manager for the CVB in 2010 following a brief stint in parks and recreation and coaching basketball at the collegiate level. I was elevated to interim director in 2015 and held on for 17 months before being named executive director.

Why I Am a Game Changer: In collaboration with Visit Greenville SC, we hosted the 2018 Geico Bassmaster Classic presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, the most attended Classic in the 48-year history of the event. With an attendance of over 143,000 and an economic impact of more than $24 million to the upstate of South Carolina, the 2018 event was arguably the most successful Bassmaster Classic of all time. In 2015, we drew the third-highest Classic attendance ever on a year in which we hosted the coldest Classic of all time.

SportsPittsburghGreatest Career Accomplishment: Hosting two GEICO Bassmaster Classics on Lake Hartwell since 2015 and having Lake Hartwell named a Top 100 Bass Lake in America four years in a row (Lake Hartwell had never been ranked prior to 2015) top the list.

What I Am Working on Now: We are preparing to host the South Carolina Outdoor Press Association Conference and South Carolina Welcome Center Managers Conference, as well as the American Bass Anglers Couples National Championship and American Fishing Tour National Championship and High School Bass Class.

What I Do Outside of Work: In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, fishing and Clemson sports. I am a Board Member for the South Carolina Sports Alliance and I Co-Direct the High School Bass Class, an event that I started in order to prepare interested high school students in the fishing industry with opportunities beyond high school and college. SportsPittsburgh